The Past Life of Keep Calm and Carry On
We’ve all seen those “Keep Calm and Carry On” memes: “Keep Calm and Rock On,” “Keep Calm and Pretend It’s Not Monday.” Did you know the history of the original goes back to World War Two?
The phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” was originally a motivational poster printed by the British government during the Second World War. The poster was part of a series which included “Freedom Is In Peril. Defend It With All Your Might” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory” In 2000, the owners of Barter Books in England purchased a lot at auction which included the old poster. The wife framed the vintage poster and hung it in the store. It became quite the hit after a newspaper writer for The Guardian mentioned it as one of her favorite things. The copyright has expired and the meme makers have since gone crazy. There’s even a website where you can create your own “Keep Calm…” saying and have it printed on just about anything. Even Portland’s Longfellow Books has a poster “Keep Calm and Turn The Page.”
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